Villains in History Quiz
Whose savagery and repression deeply scarred the African country of Uganda?
- Idi Amin, the brutally authoritarian president of Uganda from 1971–79, oversaw the torture and murder of an estimated 300,000 of his own people.
What Haitian dictator killed up to 60,000 of his own people and exiled millions?
- Trained as a doctorhence his nickname "Papa Doc"—Francois Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1957–71. With his henchmen, the Tontons Macoutes ("Bogeymen"), Duvalier terrorized and murdered potential political foes and ordinary Haitians. After his death, his son Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier became ruler, and carried on his father's cruel policies until he was driven out of the country in 1986.
Which Southeast Asian dictator killed between 1 and 2 million of his own people in the "killing fields" of Cambodia?
- The four years of nightmarish Khmer Rouge rule under radical Marxist leader Pol Pot led to the state-sponsored extermination of Cambodia's own citizens. Between 1 million and 2 million people were massacred on the "killing fields" of Cambodia or were worked to death through forced labor. Pol Pot died in 1998 without remorse, declaring, "My conscience is clear."
Who was the Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition?
- Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, used torture to force the conversion of Spanish Jews to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition.
Who was the Chinese dictator who launched the Cultural Revolution, in which millions were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered as suspected "class enemies?"
- Mao Zedong was a dictator who controlled China from 1949–76, and subjected the Chinese people to his massive social experiments, all of which ended in catastrophe. In addition to the Cultural Revolution, he launched the Great Leap Forward, which resulted in the worst famine of the 20th century.
Which dictator was responsible for the imprisonment, torture, disappearances, execution, and expulsion of thousands of Chileans?
- Pinochet gained control of Chile for 17 years in a 1973 military coup, overthrowing Salvador Allende's Marxist government. A report released in 2004 indicated that almost 28,000 people had been tortured during his rule, and that at least 3,200 murders and disappearances had taken place.
What Soviet dictator sent hundreds of thousands of Russians to Siberian slave labor camps?
- Totalitarian leader of the USSR from 1929–53, Stalin practiced a particularly cruel version of communism. About 20 million Soviet people died from starvation, executions, and life in the labor camps under Stalin's rule. Another 20 million survived imprisonment and deportation.
Which tyrant dreamt of ruling the entire world and crushing all people who did not match his blond, blue-eyed ideal?
- Hitler controlled Germany from 1933–45, and held the preposterous ambition of dominating the world. He was responsible for the genocide of six million Jews, and the slaughter of Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals, communists, and other "undesirables."
Who orchestrated the "reign of terror" during the French revolution?
- Robespierre was the mastermind of the Reign of Terror (1793–1794), the dark underside of the French Revolution. Robespierre, leader of the infamous Committee of Public Safety, turned France into a police state, sending "enemies of the nation" to the guillotine without benefit of a public trial. About 40,000 French men and women were executed or died in prison, and another 300,000 were imprisoned. Only Robespierre's own beheading ended the slaughter.
What Russian czar was called "the Terrible?"
- From 1547–1584 Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV) ruled Russia as czar. In 1570, Ivan formed a troop of personal bodyguards who answered only to him and became the vehicle for massacring his perceived enemies. He was also guilty of killing his son (and heir) in a state of fury, as well as several of his wiveshe is believed to have had seven of them.